FINALLY - I have finished my first 3d CAD / casted puzzle. A true labor of love - ha! I call this the TIE Cube, because of its (sort of) resemblance to a TIE fighter from Star Wars.
There are many things that could be majorly improved, but since I've never done this before, I'm very happy overall with how it turned out! I would consider it a good prototype and a VERY good learning process.
The basic concept is that two opposite sides can turn 90 degrees, but all other turns are limited to 180 degree turns. The solved state has two of these sides at 90 degree turns creating a sort of bandage / brick cube look, and adding to the general confusion when solving (I haven't solved it yet...)
The cube is very heavy since the pieces are not hollow at all. I used Solidworks to design the puzzle - printed the masters from Print to 3D, smoothed them with solvent cement. I used an Alumilite starter kit to make the molds, and used the tan resin to make the puzzle. I dyed the pieces with RIT liquid dye, and hand cut the stickers from Oracle stock. Yes, the stickers were rushed, but I've spent way too much time and money on this already. It took me two sets of molds, and two complete casts before I got it right. I've been working on it since December - probably about 15 hours spent on this in total I would guess!
Next on the to do list - I plan to adjust the Solidworks file, adding in slightly better tolerances. As it is the puzzle is very smooth and even cuts comers okay, but it jams up just a tiny bit from time to time. I also want to try hollowing out the bigger pieces to make it lighter and so it will take less resin to make. I want to get some moldmax 30 to make better molds, and I'll probably print an entire puzzle this time so I can put multiple pieces in one mold. I'll also get machine cut stickers next time. Maybe then at that point I'd consider selling a handful if they turn out okay!
Also, before I forget - Thanks to everyone who helped me with my many questions along the way!
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